St. Michaels Church – View from the parking lot…


Charleston, SC

Sometimes the best views can be had from the most unlikely places. Especially in Charleston, which is full of quaint streets, back entrances and out of the way spaces… one being a parking space with a very cool view!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Beautiful Orchid – What a great gift idea!

Gorgeous Orchid!

Gorgeous Orchid!

I received the most beautiful orchid for my birthday… what a surprise! And, may I say, what an awesome gift! I am trying hard to make it live forever! If you have tips on how to make that happen, let me know!!

[Art]  Top painting is Ride Down Powell by Darrell Hill. Bottom painting is Bowens Island by Ken DeWaard. Wooden Bowl by Joe Fidler (Thanks dad!!)

Bright orange key chain… made by me, hee hee… why did I hang it there?

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Sarah McRae Morton!

The Ark of the North Country Girl and the Cape of Curiosity by Sarah McRae Morton, Oil on linen, 36″ x 48″

The Ark of the North Country Girl and the Cape of Curiosity by Sarah McRae Morton, Oil on linen, 36″ x 48″

Sarah McRae Morton – Wow. Such interesting subject matter. Her paintings are phenomenal and it shows by the number that has sold. There is a show for Sarah at the Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine. It began on September 5 and runs through September 27, 2014 – if you’re in the vicinity, try to make it! See Sarah’s paintings in person. Experience one of the most amazing galleries ever.

From the Dowling Walsh website:

CURRENT SHOW: “The Impossible Sight of a Ship” – SEPTEMBER 5-27, 2014

A family tie brought me to Maine. I have returned, following windy curiosity to see whereseafarers fed my favorite painters, find the “Grim and Wild Maine” described by Thoreau, follow water veins he coursed with Penobscot guides, and hear the wrath of the ocean onthe fortress walls of Monhegan.

The subjects in “The Impossible Sight of a Ship” are the people from whom I am descended, by blood or by the “marrow of artistic tradition”, all of whom led me to a place and time in Maine. The present, as a culmination of chances, is one lock of a braided theme joining pieces in this suite of work. The other two lineages of the binding braid are the history of a family, and that of a string of artists. From each I have inherited substance to make paintings.

These paintings are maps of retraced steps, records of the roads taken to try to capture images of people long gone. They are invented portraits of the shells of tenacious spirits who have survived because their stories are transmitted around campfires, between rocking chairs, and under moth eaten black skies. They had memorable lives or unforgettable brushes with death and left enough legacy, artifacts or genetic residue to retell their stories. What they all have in common is me, a common descendant.

As there is an optimal viewing distance for every painting, it seems true of history too – perspective clarifies some facts and can obscure what we wish not to see. It’s a metaphor I elude to by rendering some detail finely while blurring other passages within the same frame.

My paintings mimic American academic construction. The compositions draw from a canon of western paintings where a common goal was to deceive the viewer- to build a believable window view to an invented scene by an alchemic process using dirt, stone oil, sap, gems and flax. The style of the pieces varies according to the prevalent style of art during each character’s lifetime, displaying facets of aesthetic traditions, or challenges to convention that made American art history.

The process of learning to see gave me the title of the show, “The Impossible Sight of a Ship” .It has been theorized that when European vessels first appeared on the horizon of the Americas, native people could not “see” the ships. Having never laid eyes on such objects before, they were not primed to recognize the shapes of the bow, hull and sails…or see the apparition as portent of a storm.

The concept that it is an acquired ability to recognize objects, illusions, constructions, pictures is a useful analogy for my process of painting. My work is a continuation of the endeavors of others. The ship is impossible for me to see without the ghosts of earlier images on my retinas. I relied on the work of the Wyeths, Homer, Peal, Sully, Eakins to compose these pictures.

Read a bit about Sarah from the Dowling Walsh website (I love bios that tell a story!):

I began painting in a barn loft turned studio when I was eight. The surrounding Amish farmed fields, livestock, barn raisings and quilt auctions were my repeated subjects. Creating pictures led me to an understanding of my place adjacent to that world, and it was art that inspired me to move away from it. Reading through a trove of art history books in the barn ignited my curiosity to pursue art seriously. During and after my high school years I studied drawing and color theory with Myron Barnstone in Coplay, Pennsylvania. For four years I attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and took history courses at The University of Pennsylvania. When I was awarded a PAFA fellowship to travel to Europe in 2006 I took the opportunity to study art restoration and conservation in Rome. Then, in Norway, I studied with painter Odd Nerdrum.

When I returned from abroad I settled in a coal mining region of West Virginia to create a body of work about the local history. Based on these paintings, I was awarded a Matisse Foundation Fellowship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2008. Since then, I have painted series in Cerillos, New Mexico; Carmel, California; Baltimore, Maryland;  Freiburg, Germany; and Johnson Vermont at Vermont Studio Center. Painting is my means to relay stories and share ideas. I depend on themes and symbols from western art history to create allegory. When I paint about events I am ever aware of how my lens has been curved, my point of view determined by travel, books, past artists and new meetings. I currently live in Cologne, Germany, but my paintings undoubtedly reflect the setting of my upbringing in rural Pennsylvania. I often return to work in my childhood studio above the horse stalls.

Image via, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

House Plan: A country farmhouse plan (888-7) from!

This is an modern take (to me) of a country farmhouse type plan, I found this house plan on – it’s very cool, I love the layout, the wide porches

This Signature Plan 888-7, designed by Nicholas Lee, is 2,168 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The layout of the first floor is nice, it’s open, and most importantly it offers wonderful deep overhangs for the porches which help keep the house cool in the hot months.


A country farmhouse plan (888-7) via

FIRST FLOOR – A country farmhouse plan (888-7) via

It’s nice how this floor plan separates the guest rooms from the master bedroom. On the left hand side you have the office, master bedroom and bathroom and on the right hand side you have the guest rooms which share a bathroom, and in the center of the house you have kitchen, dining, great room. For Fred and I that would be more than plenty, we would do without the upstairs…

A country farmhouse plan (888-7) via

SECOND FLOOR – A country farmhouse plan (888-7) via

The loft is accessed by a ladder from the main floor. You could always use that space as storage (much like you would use an attic with a pull down staircase). If the ladder was in the way or you didn’t want to draw attention to it, you could move it when not needed. A climate controlled attic… at least in the south that would be really nice! I remember the first time I put red and white taper candles in the Christmas decoration box. When I pulled it down the next year the candles had completely melted. Many of our good ornaments ruined (not by the candle wax, but from the heat).

What do you think of this plan? Let me know!

ALL IMAGES VIA HOUSEPLANS.COM – used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Please join me – the Greatest Internet Slowdown Ever!

Loading icon…

You may see this today.

You may see this quite a bit. You see the big cable and telecom companies want to divide the Internet, making some areas fast speeds, and other sites very slow… so slow that you would see this loading wheel more often than not. I signed a letter to stop this from happening – I hope you do too. It only takes a few seconds!

Sometimes we have to take a stand for things we believe in. This is your chance to let your voice be heard. Will you send an email to let your voice be heard?

If you see the actual loading symbol somewhere on this blog (not the image above, but the real one, where it’s moving), click on it and it will also take you to the website where they have lots of great information!

Images via, used with permission!

Catch you back here tomorrow!




Tasty side dish: Brown rice, tomatoes, green onion, feta and olives!

Brown rice, feta, tomatoes and green onion

Grilled chicken… again… WHAT to have as a side? Something different. Something QUICK. What’s on hand? Trader Joe’s rice. Yay! Grape tomatoes, feta, olives, all staples… there ya go… add more or less it’s good any way you make it!

Brown Rice with Feta, Grape Tomatoes, Green Onion, Feta, Olives…


Brown Rice (see note*)

Container of Grape Tomatoes, cut in half

Green onion (to your taste)


Red or green onion

Olive Oil

You can also add Olives, Banana Pepper or anything else that you have on hand that sounds good!


I cook the rice, prep and cut the veggies.

In a bowl I add just enough olive oil to coat/moisten the rice and I add pepper (1-2 tablespoons would be my guess). If I’m using Feta I do not use Salt.

Mix the oil and spices, then add the sliced tomatoes. Top with hot rice and let sit a few minutes to soften the tomatoes a bit. Then give it a good stir, add the veggies and the feta, olives, banana pepper and anything else that sounds good. This literally takes a few minutes to make when using frozen rice (microwave). It’s a great side dish and believe it or not is good hot or cold!

*You can use refrigerated leftover brown rice, make a fresh pot of rice, or use the frozen packets (Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice, each pouch makes about 3 servings) – super quick, you zap for 3 minutes in the microwave!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

NOTE to my subscribers: This recipe originally said olive oil amount was 5 swirls around the bowlthat is for the pasta salad… eek, my apologies, this uses far less! (Always check the blog (via the email) by clicking on the title of the post (it will take you to my blog). If there are any errors I usually catch them in the morning, and have them corrected!

Art Workshop Event – FAC – Robert Lemler & Leon Okun!

Robert Lemler FAC2014 tb

Robert Lemler. Wow! What fabulous work! Check out his website to see more of his style. This is a great opportunity for a three day workshop with Robert! Fun and informative, you can spend a better three days!

Click HERE to sign up for any of the Fine Art Collaborative (FAC) workshops! (Michelle Dunaway, Tom Balderas, Peggi Kroll Roberts, Ray Roberts, Robert Lemler, Leon Okun, Vanessa Rothe and Leslie Saeta).

Leon Okun FAC2014 tb

Leon Okun. Drawing… The foundation of a good painting. This man’s paintings are incredible. This is quite the opportunity, and a lot will be learned in this two day workshop. Drawing is so important, the more you can learn, the easier it will be! Another great workshop!

Catch you back here tomorrow!